The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global award for recognising excellence in sustainability, has officially announced that the 2024 cycle is now open for submissions.
Submissions will be accepted until 2 May 2023 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises, nonprofit organisations and high schools with sustainability solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the five categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
The Prize’s 2023 award cycle received a record-breaking 4,538 applications from 152 countries, marking a 13% increase in submissions compared to the previous cycle.
Commenting on the launch of the 2024 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “This year, the Prize celebrates 15 years of honouring the legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, and accelerating sustainable development and humanitarian impact around the world. Since 2008, the Prize has, through the visionary leadership of the United Arab Emirates, facilitated the delivery of sustainable solutions to vulnerable communities, improving access to reliable and affordable energy, safe drinking water, nutritious food and quality healthcare for millions. These efforts directly support the UAE’s broader aims to encourage international collaboration and build a sustainable and prosperous global economy.”
H.E. Al Jaber added, “Importantly, the Prize has prioritised youth and empowers young people to lead in sustainable development. Through the Global High Schools category, the Prize provides opportunities for young people to build their skills in sustainability and leadership and encourages them to take an active role in supporting their communities and driving climate action.”
“The Zayed Sustainability Prize helps organisations and schools scale their solutions, enabling them to realise even greater impact and catalyse positive, transformational change. To date, the Prize has impacted the lives of over 378 million people around the world, including in Vietnam, Nepal, Sudan, Ethiopia, Maldives and Tuvalu.”
The Prize’s US$3 million fund rewards winners US$600,000 in each category. The Global High Schools category is split into six world regions, with each school able to claim up to US$100,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe & Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific.
Inspired by the sustainability and humanitarian legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize has, to date, recognised a total of 106 winners whose solutions or student-led school projects have positively transformed the lives of millions.
While the submission forms vary per category, core elements of each entry lie in the innovative, impactful and inspirational ways in which the proposed technology, applications and solutions aim to improve wellbeing and sustainability.
For the Health, Food, Energy, and Water categories, organisations should demonstrate that they are improving access to essential products or services and have a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, their projects should be student–led, with emphasis placed on the students being actively involved in the planning, implementation, and monitoring processes.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize has a three-stage evaluation process, beginning with the due diligence conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners, across all five categories.
Winners of the 2024 Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the COP28 Climate Summit.